Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008


First Frost of Winter - (Circles of Winter series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Winter Solstice Sun -(Circles of Winter series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - red clover gone to seed

Every day I learn something new. Today I learned solstice means standing still sun. This was probably elementary science when I was a youngster, but science never held much interest for me when I was a lass.

On the night of winter solstice, as seen from a northern sky, the three stars in Orion's Belt align with the brightest star in the eastern sky Sirius to show where the Sun will rise in the morning after winter solstice. Until this time, the Sun has exhibited since summer solstice a decreasing arc across the Southern sky. On winter solstice, the Sun ceases to decline in the sky and the length of daylight reaches its minimum for three days, during which the sun does not move on the horizon. After such a time, the Sun begins its ascent into the northern sky and days grow longer. Thus the interpretation by many cultures of a sun reborn and a return to light. This return to light is again celebrated at the vernal equinox, when the length of day equals that of night. (from wikipedia)

I guess if I am going to celebrate Solstice as a holy day, it's good to understand some of the factual stuff too.

I have been away from the blogosphere for a week. Last Sunday I came home to a computer that wouldn't start up. A new power supply and larger hard drive solved that problem. While my computer guy was under the hood, I asked him to add another gig of RAM, so I practically have a new machine. It's so interesting how one problem solved creates a host of others. After bringing the pc home on Tuesday, it crashed a couple of times, so back to my friendly pc doc it went. Wouldn't ya know though, after three days he couldn't consistently reduplicate the error. So back home she is for some test driving with fingers crossed. So far so good. Only one error since Friday night. Perhaps holiday magic has saved the day!

Monday, December 08, 2008


rememberingRemembering - (Mandalas for Peace Project) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: bearded lichen

When you see thirteen in your mandalas, perhaps the message conveyed is that you have moved into a new phase in your life. Thirteen might also be telling you that the weight of the past may hamper the new direction in your life, especially when you do not bring closure to what has gone before. Thirteen in your mandalas may be a clue that a powerful process is in force within you, and that you might do well to prepare for a freeing of your energy after what seems like a time of tribulation, hard work, and confusion. ~ from Creating Mandalas by Susanne E. Fincher

A friend of mine recently told me the story of her near death experience. By all accounts she should have died 10 years ago when she was trapped in a car rear ended by a semi. When she was rescued from the burning car, she told the EMTs who pulled her out that she was sitting on the laps of angels. I am not going to go into the details of her story, because it is her story. The effect of hearing her story, though, seemed to release me from a funk I had been experiencing for the last six weeks or so. I was uplifted. I felt at peace.

The message I heard her telling me through recounting her tale was Remember who you are. Express yourself. Do what you are called to do. Life is short. Death is an elevated state of consciousness. Shine on.

I created this mandala from the energy of my friend's inspiration, and I hope it will assist others to help them remember as well. I felt drawn to create a mandala with thirteen rays because thirteen is a number indivisible...a number unto itself. Unique.

Shine On.

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Thursday, December 04, 2008


soft as a lambSoft as a Lamb Mandala - (Winter Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - dusty miller

I don't have a lot to say about this particular image except I like it. When perusing some of my older photographs, I stumbled upon a picture of some dusty miller, one of my favorite wooly garden plants. Who can resist running their fingers on that velvety texture? I'd always wanted to create a mandala from one of those photos, and so I did. My heart and soul really needed that softness and to see that angel light emanating from the six points of the configuration.

I am still digesting the effects of AEDM. It did have a very positive impact on my growth as an artist. I have been contemplating for quite a long time how to begin to get my art out in the world in a bigger way. Having returned to work a year ago after a five year hiatus has put a bit of a damper on left brained planning activity after work, but I am beginning to take notes again about directions. Over the next few weeks don't be surprised if I muse on this topic here on my blog.

If you are interested in ordering one of my Sacred Circle Mandala Calendars, all I have to say is, well, what are you waiting for? I was looking at Lulu's shipping schedule today. is a print on demand company, so it takes 3-5 after an order is placed for it to be shipped. I ordered something today to be shipped Media Mail, and that choice is not guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas. Just so you know.

The link to the ordering page for the calendars is on the sidebar, top right. Thanks for your interest.

I have a rare bout of insomnia tonight. At 1:30 AM, I think Im finally feeling sleepy. Gonna try round three with that pillow.

Mmmm, dreaming of one as soft as a lamb. How about that?

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I spent Thanksgiving with my friend Lorlyn who lives in Talent, Oregon. She was already Talented, though, before she moved there. These are photos I took in her backyard.

This also concludes 30 days of creating art in November. My my, that time went by quickly. Wow wow. My intent for these past 30 days had been to focus more on my photography. I feel pretty satisfied with every thing I created this month...for the stretches in pushing past some of my comfort zones and just daring to do something new.

I smiled when I saw the holey stone. Whenever I see those rocks, I am reminded what a friend said to me once..."if water can bore through rock, then we can get through anything!"

I am way grateful for Leah who has managed to create such a cohesive community of creative bloggers, and for giving us all an opportunity to get to know each other a little better during these past 30 days. In my travels around the blogosphere I have seen some amazing work. Thanks to all of YOU for enriching my life.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


ancestors mandala
Ancestors' Mandala- (Mandalas for Peace Project) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image- decorative grasses

A patch of ornamental grasses blowing gently in the wind and shimmering in the light caught my eye a couple of weeks ago when I was out shopping for groceries. I circled round the parking lot and pulled out my trusty companion Canon for a quick photoshoot. I lovd the lacey delicacy of the grasses gone to seed.

During one of my recent investigations of the meaning of the word mandala, I discovered another interpretation that I really like ... containing essence. How much more essential could anything be than a plant at the end of its growing cycle, yet producing seeds to insure its continued growth? The alpha and omega, beginning and end, never ceasing....

When I decide to create a mandala, it seems the image tells me how it wants to be created; I have no preconceived idea what the final image will look like. It is fun for me to later look at books on symbolism to search for meanings of the imagery contained within the circle.

Seven (for the seven rays of this mandala) is a holy and mystical number ... seven days, seven planets, seven colors in the rainbow, seven directions (north, south, east, west, up, down and center), seven phases in the alchemical process of turning base material into gold. According to Jung, seven stands for the highest stage of illumination, a passing from base ignorance to golden enlightment. Seven, seven, I'm in heaven!

Because I create in such an abstract manner, I'm never really certain what Im going to create until it has created itself. Reading about the number seven as a number of ancient symbolism, I have decided to designate this mandala as the image for the ancestors' prompt in the Mandalas for Peace Project.

As peaceful as the falling snow...

This will more than likely be my last posting for AEDM as well, since I am going out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope all of you have a blessed four day weekend. Be safe and happy whatever you do in these days to come.

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I have been photographing two banana trees I see on my daily walk for about a year now and have watched them from a point of being trimmed back for winter to growing out again. I would imagine they will be trimmed again soon...the gardener honors the cycle of life!

My intent for AEDM had originally been to experiment more with my camera. It's been challenging with all the rain we've been having lately here on the North Coast of California. Actually Im amazed banana trees even grow here. These trees must like rain!

Oh and hey! Be sure to visit my doodle blog for more Banana Madness!


Friday, November 21, 2008


nature's bounty mandalaNature's Bounty Mandala - (Create Every Day Month) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - cherry leaf

cherry in autumnThis mandala reminds me of a bowl for all of the blessings and bounty that nature has to offer. It is deep and wide and has room for love and peace and compassion. I am releasing judgments about people around me who I do not agree with and putting them in this bowl for healing. We must be the change we want in the world.

Have you ever noticed the Messages from the Universe that are posted in the sidebar to the right? You have to scroll down a bit. They are there to remind us (me) of the Universal support available all the time.

2 cherry leavesI created this mandala for AEDM. This morning I received a prompt from Cheryl over at Mandala Oasis to create a mandala of Thanksgiving. Talk about synchronicity! Cheryl asked ...if thanksgiving...forgiving/forgiveness....gratitude...or appreciation were a mandala...what would it look like? ...

Words that come up for me center around enough ... big enough, deep enough, always enough ... with an eight pointed golden star(eight being a symbol of the sun as the divine instigator of endless change .. Circlot, Dictionary of Symbols, 1962) right in the center to remind me of this when thoughts might come up that speak contrary to these truths.

3 cherry leavesLeaves in autumn change color and eventually fall from tree branches. I don't suspect they hang on for dear life resisting change. May we all greet life with joy and change with ease.

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I'm excited to announce the release of Sacred Circle Mandalas Calendar, which can be purchased through LULU. COM, a print- on-demand company.
Back again for another year, Sacred Circle Mandalas Calendar is sure to delight the mind and soothe the spirit. The word mandala comes from Sanskrit and roughly translates to mean containing essence. Each mandala in this calendar was created by photographing images from nature and then digitally transforming their essence into magical new patterns. Each image is accompanied by an inspiring quote by writers such as Rumi, Jung, and Thoreau. It is my desire to capture Nature’s stories in beautiful ways within the wholeness of the mandala circle.

During these challenging times, I believe we all need more positive imagery in our lives to ground us in hope. People who have witnessed my art have called it uplifting, ephemeral, powerful and full of joy.

If you have any questions, please be sure to contact me by scrolling down to the email link posted on the right sidebar.

(For those of you viewing my blog through a feed reader or via email, you will need to come to site to view the slide show of calendar pages)


Thursday, November 13, 2008


community creating peace

Community Creating Peace Mandala - (Mandalas for Peace Project) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - eucalyptus leaves

There can be no vulnerability without risk, there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately, no life, without community ~ M. Scott Peck

When I began to create this mandala, the first image I saw was two hands cradling a seed. As the mandala progressed, it evolved into a circle of hands, each nurturing its own seed, as well as offering it to be planted in the center. What will grow there?

What would you plant in the center, within your own community?

This mandala was created for the Mandalas for Peace Project and posted for day 13 of Art Every Day Month.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


november rhodie

November Rhodie - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

A rhododendron bush right outside my apartment generates blooms about two months earlier than others that usually bloom in January. I took a photo last week which I later manipulated in Photoshop. Overall I was pretty pleased with the highlights of color and luminosity derived from some actions I used which were developed by Glenn Mitchell. I'm not really sure what I'm doing when applying these automated scripts to my imagery (shhhh, don't tell, k?), but I have figured them out well enough to add a certain glow to my photos and mandalas.

So today I wondered if I could use this photo as a source image for a mandala.

Trust in dreams, for in them is the hidden gate to eternity ~Kahlil Gibran
eclipse mandalaEclipse Mandala - (Create Every Day series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: November Rhodie

third eye mandalaThird Eye Mandala - (Create Every Day Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: November Rhodie

I wanted
to create imagery with a dreamy quality. I think of November as the beginning of a journey into dreamtime. Do you notice the quality of your dreams change during the winter months?

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Saturday, November 08, 2008


weaving a dreamWeaving a Dream - (Mandalas for Peace series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - spider web

Spiders are nature's mandala makers, and autumn is a perfect time to witness their beauty. When I googled for spider medicine stories, I discovered in many cultures spiders are considered weavers of magic. They weave a web that remind us of the interconnectedness of life. Did you know that the spider web was believed to give the alphabet to man, so that we could communicate with each other, all over the world? And here we are, doing just that.

Someone who has the power of the spider will see enhanced balance, creative energy, and writing skills. Magic and intuition are also all part of this totem’s medicine.

I like having spiders around me, and it takes a lot for me to remove them from my home.

This mandala is my contribution for the Creativity intent for the Mandalas for Peace project. If you do not know about the project, be sure to read about it here.

I'm enjoying Leah's AEDM project and how much fun it is to challenge myself to try something new (nearly) every day.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


The Greatest Gift of All - (AEDM series) - Sue O'Kieffe 2008greatest gift of all
image source - drainage grate

During the month of November I am specifically looking at imagery that I might not normally capture with my camera. Yesterday I had fun with the lines and shadows of a drainage grate I found on the property where I work. I posted a few of the pictures on Wednesday's post. If you didn't see them, please take a look.

After I created this mandala from yesterday's "Greatest" image, I asked what it was trying to say to me. Hmmm... Life isn't always black and white and is often filled with lots of grey? Well, that is part of it, but it's more than that.

As I was making this image I duplicated a layer and transformed it at 92 degrees, which gave it an unexpected blurred and imperfect effect. And I think it is those out of focus greys that speak of our own imperfections which, in my mind, only make us all the more interesting. And that, really is the greatest gift of all, when we are willing to look at and accept the greys in our lives for the gifts they present to us.

What can you do today, just for today, to look at a situation in a different way?

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


after the stormAfter the Storm - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
so this guy i know at work walked up to me when i was out taking photos this afternoon.
"you taking pictures of leaves?"
"nope. raindrops."
"raindrops!how come?"
"cuz i've never tried it before"

Monday, November 03, 2008


who's kaw-lingWho's Kaw-ling? - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

I love watching ravens. They are such teases. Just about the time you get the camera out and focused, off they fly. I swear they know. This one stuck around until I started to zoom in, then flap flap flap. Have you ever walked down the street with a bag of chips and throw a few on the ground? Within seconds every raven within a three mile radius will be on the street, vying for those cheetos. They look pretty funny with orange beaks, lemme tell you.

Do you have a favorite raven story? (Oh Deb K, where are you?)

Don't forget to come visit me over on my doodle blog. Im playing there too.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


On my daily walk around the block I often study this particular palm tree behind the local laundromat. (Isn't it amazing the gems we find in such mundane places?) ...

and took some photos of the leaves using various shutter speeds.

green mandalaGreen Mandala - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

When I took the bottom photo into Photoshop to be mandalized, I used the same basic technique from the photograph in Saturday's post...Photoshop's Find Edges filter set to Multiply and a wee bit of Gaussian blur which gives it that dreamy look. A strong Curves adjustment added boldness and grounding.

I have been craving green in my imagery lately. Even with most of the blooms faded away with the arrival of autumn, I thank goodness for shrubbery and living in a land of evergreens!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


A year ago I rose to Leah Piken Kolidas' challenge to create every day during the month of November and tried my hand at some non-digital art; out of that came a new found fascination with lines and color. (Hey, did you even know I have another blog, dedicated to doodling? ) Another year has come and gone, and once again Leah is encouraging us to think about new ways to be creative. I re-upped. I would support you all to join us in this no-pressure challenge to try something new. You can do it! Being creative is good for you.

This year I have decided to focus more on new photographic techniques and will be posting my excursions here and there, since I do imagine playing with my camera as another way of doodling.

dancing with flutesDancing with Flutes - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

I've begun experimenting with new ways of using aperture and shutter speeds. Mostly I'm trying not to rely so much on Photoshop and just use simple digital darkrooom techniques. I did enjoy the watercolory, batik-like results of this image, though. Some habits are too much fun to relinquish altogether.

Stay tuned for further adventures!

~Sue O'Kieffe

Saturday, October 25, 2008


birthmarks mandalaBirthmarks Mandala - (Mandalas for Peace series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - agapanthus at end of growing cycle

I love spring and signs of new growth. Summer is a riot of bright blooms.agapanthus skeleton Fall reveals structure and is a reminder of the growing cycle. Blossoms fall away; new seeds are formed...birthmarks of the season yet to come. Creating this mandala was an opportunity for me to blend my digital world with my doodley one...what fun to add yet another layer of the mystery to creation by doodling my own birthmarks on the first segment of the mandala, and perhaps creating this mandala's own particular DNA. When I finished the image I imagined the center being a point of conception, with new life energy radiating outward.

This mandala, with its theme of birthing/transformation, is the third image (with 6 to go) I have created for the Mandalas for Peace project. It is my prayer that we continue to birth ourselves into the New...(raised consciousness, peace, awareness of the Oneness of us All).

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Doreen, Diane Clancy and John Mora have all bestowed me with these three blog awards. Thank you. I have been remiss in not acknowledging their kind recognitions, and Miss Manners has been gently guilting me. Aaaaack. Before the internal pressure gets to be too bad and I look like some bad rendition of The Scream, I think it is time to say thank you and to pass on all three of these lovely awards to:

Art and Tea - Karen is a mixed media jewelry artist and tea sure to pop over for a soothing cuppa, but leave plenty of time for oohing and ahhing over her gorgeous beaded jewelry
Journeytime - Derick is a fellow seeker, and he blesses his readers with the gifts of his journey. I am simulatenously fascinated by and honored to be part of his journey
Kate Jobe - I met Kate over at the Mandala Oasis. I'm enjoying our co-creative artistic projects, but am even more impressed by her SoulSkins. I hope you go take a look at her stunning, one-of-a-kind-wearable art
Tomas Karkelas - his url says it all: trust light. Tomas writes about art as a healer. What more need I say?
Chewy - graphic designer, painter, haiku poet, mandala maker, and a blogger who returns your comments...i'd say ms chewy is a renaissance creative!
Rethaw - I love the tagline on David's blog -- we train ourselves not to look eventually we don't see - I still want to know how he does his abstract photography, but he is frustratingly mute on this topic. Go take a look and you'll see why I experience art envy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Messenger for Peace Mandala

messenger for peace mandalaMessengers for Peace Mandala - (Mandalas for Peace series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - owl and sandpiper feathers

I was given a bag of feathers over a year ago.I've kept them in my freezer in a plastic bag in order to kill the mites which reside in them naturally. Today I scanned two of them in order to create this mandala.owl and sandpiper feathers It's much easier for me to identify birds than it is their feathers, but I do believe they once belonged to an owl and a sandpiper (or one of those other long-legged shore birds...)

Whenever I find feathers, I think of them as a sign, a message; and while doves are traditionally a symbol for peace, the owl is moreso a symbol of wisdom, darkness, death, and knowledge. I believe this death is transformative, a molting of old behaviors and beliefs that no longer serve mankind. In this particular mandala,the center is rings and rings of circles, which offers a sense of unity amongst diversity, protections, and old the rings of a tree. The Star represents the Self...upright, rooted to the earth, well grounded. The earthy golden brown represents the end of a healing process, the autumn season, the thin golden veil between the physical and spiritual worlds.

I am grateful to these birds who shed their feathers that allowed me to relay their messages of hope and joy that will arise when light bursts forth upon the darkness.

This mandala, with its focus on Animal, is second in a series for the Mandalas for Peace Project. You can read more about this project here. If you are a mandala maker reading this blog, I hope you will consider joining us over at the Mandala Oasis.

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Orphan Bill Passed the Senate - Let'sTry and Stop it in the House!

Law of Attraction - (Circles of Healing) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2006

Please take the time to read and/or listen to the information below regarding the Orphan Works bill. I hope you will be inspired to protest the passing of this bill by contacting your local member of the House of Representatives. A link at the bottom of this page makes it easy to do!
Here is an overview of current copyright guidelines from the Library of Congress website:

A video explanation of the new Orphan Works bill can be viewed here:

(thanks, sari!)

From The Illustrators' Partnership Orphan Works Blog

SEPT 27 Yesterday, in a cynical move, the sponsors of the Senate Orphan Works Act passed their controversial bill by a controversial practice known as hotlining.

With lawmakers scrambling to raise 700 billion dollars to bail out businesses that are “too big to fail,” the Senate passed a bill that would force small copyright holders to subsidize big internet interests such as Google, which has already said it plans to use millions of the images this bill will orphan.

With the meltdown on Wall Street, this is no time for Congress to concentrate our nation’s copyright wealth in the hands of a few privately owned corporate databases. The contents of these databases would be more valuable than secure banking information. Yet this bill would compel creators to risk their own intellectual property to supply content to these corporate business models. That means it would be our assets at risk in the event of their failure or mismanagement.

As David Rhodes, President of the School of Visual Arts has said, the Orphan Works bill would socialize the expense of copyright protection while privatizing the profit of creative endeavors. Copyright owners neither want nor need this legislation. It will do great harm to small businesses. We already have a banking crisis. Congress should not lay the groundwork for a copyright crisis.

– Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Illustrators’ Partnership


We MUST try to stop the House Judiciary Committee from folding their bill (HR5889) and adopting the Senate version.

If you’ve done it before, do it again!

It takes only a minute to use our new special letter.
Click on the link below, enter your zip code, and take the next steps.
Thanks to all of you who heeded the call to action yesterday.

Over 70 organizations oppose this bill, representing over half a million creators.
Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses. The Illustrators Partnership Capwiz site is open to professional creators and any member of the image-making public.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Divine Wisdom and the Power of Women

Divine Wisdom MandalaPower of Women Mandala - (Women and Peace Project series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - escallonia flower

I don't often write about my images. I like to let the images speak for themselves. My intent had been to create a mandala with 9 rays, but it turned into 18. Next time I'll know how to do it. Still, the power of nine remains prevalent in this image.18 in Tarot is the Moon (authenticity, mysteriousness, integrity, openness). 1+8=9 is the Hermit(introspection, completeness, resolution, recognizing what is heartfelt and meaningful). When I create my mandalas, there is always some voice, some nudge that calls to me. Intuition beckons me.

I am honored to be participating in the Mandalas for Peace Project, a collaborative effort conceived over at the Mandala Oasis. A group of us will each be creating a series of nine images based on nine different themes over the next nine weeks. A webring for the project is in the process of being birthed.

So what is it about the number nine that is so powerful? In her book Creating Mandalas, Susanne Fincher writes:

Nine represents a band of angels, careful synthesis, and the enigma of human existence. Jung writes that by ancient tradition nine represents "a company of gods." The Bible mentions that there are nine choirs of angels. The most mysterious element of the Trinity, The Holy Ghost, was symbolized by the number nine. Nine has been a traditional symbol for benevolent spiritual beings...the number nine symbolized truth in mystic Hebrew tradition. (pp.106-107).

Kate Jobe, a member of the Project, told us 9 was the number of the Divine Feminine.

Being a knowledge- seeking woman, I decided to dig a bit deeper. In his painting of The Creation of Adam on the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo portrays Sophia, Divine Wisdom, as being present at God the Father's left hand side when Earth was created.

From the Greek Old Testament Septuagint (circa 285 B.C):
For wisdom, which is the worker of all things,taught me: for in her is an understanding spirit,holy, only one, manifold----”
( Septuagint Wisdom VII: 22 )

and from the Bible:
Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding, for the gain from it is better than gain from silver and its profits better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Prov 3:13-15
(from Holy Spirit Divine Feminine)

Other information on Sophia:
Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom and God's Bride
The Sophia Foundation of North America
Sophia: Hidden Goddess of the West
The Power of Women
...Strength, Wisdom, Mystery...
......Breast, Womb, Blood......
.........Nurturing, Healing, Restoring.........
............Creating, Birthing, Releasing...........

I thank Holy Spirit and the Wisdom of Sophia for helping me create this gift for peace.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


The past few days I have enjoyed walking through the neighborhoods witnessing the change of color. Even though our autumn leaves are not as brilliant as what you might see in the Midwest or New England, coming upon the maples overhanging the boulevards with the sun shining through their leaves is simply breathtaking. Cherry trees that early displayed sweet pink flowers now vibrate with red and gold foliage. Wise gingko shimmers yellow. And the pumpkin spiders hanging out in their exquisitely woven webs harken the approaching cooler nights.

I do love showing off the beauty of where I live.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


sunflower mandalaSunflower Salutation Mandala - (Autumn Circle series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: sunflower

Glowing like a sun
Warming everyone
Will you walk with me?
Rain and winter snow
Only help you grow
Won’t you walk with me?
~Al Jarreau

Over at the Mandala Oasis we have been creating autumn- inspired mandalas. More than one of us has used the cheerful sunflower as a source of inspiration. Who is not drawn to this joyous fall bloom? This flower reminds me of a great big hug, warm, open and inviting.

When I feel into this mandala, I am aware of the radiating nurturing energies of the last days before winter. Here on the North Coast of California September and October are our glory days. Socked in by damp grey fog in the summer, we hunger for light and an end to summer bouts of Seasonal Affective Disorder. September arrives, temperatures rise, the air is still and we bask in heat like lizards on a rock in the desert.

I am grateful for these days, interspersed with early rains. I love watching pumpkin spiders in their webs and preparing for those days when the veil grows thin between the worlds of matter and spirit.

May your days ahead be heartwarming and filled with joy.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas